Title: Twice Promised
Series: Blue Willow Brides
Author: Maggie Brendan
Published: October 1, 2012
Greta Olsen arrives in Central City, Colorado, as a mail-order bride. When she arrives in the tiny mining town, she is excited to marry Jess Gifford, a man whom she has come to know from his kind tender letters. But, her arrival is less than what she expected. Not only does Jess not know he’s to get married, but there’s another bride vying for his attention! Now Greta must evaluate why she came and whether or not she’s willing to move on from the past.
Cora Johnson came to Central City from a wealthy family that no longer approves of her religious choices. She decided to become a mail-order bride for a change of scenery and a change in lifestyle. When she arrives and finds not Jess, but his brother, and another bride for the unsuspecting groom-to-be, she’s enraged and confused. When she starts working in the Gifford general store she discovers a freedom she never knew before and knows that whatever happens, she’s staying in Colorado.
When Jess and Zach’s grandmother, Granny, comes up with a way to solve the problem, everyone jumps at it. Jess will court Cora and his brother Zach’s will court Greta. But after a while, the lines become blurred and the couples find that they are attracted to the wrong person. Now they have to find a way to tell each other that they don’t want to marry who they’re supposed to, but instead the one they shouldn’t even consider.
Will they be able to tell each other who they are really in love with or will they do what they should and keep it a secret until they die? Will Greta and Cora’s young friendship standout against the news that they each love the other’s beau or will it tear them apart? Will Zach’s and Jess’s relationship suffer or will it improve with the lies behind them? Will Greta be able to move on from her dead fiancé and accept love or will she spend the rest of her life mourning something that will never happen?
Having read a book by Maggie Brendan previously, I already knew what to expect as far as romance went and I knew that I loved the book that I managed to get my hands on. What I didn’t know was if this book was going to be just as good, better, or worse than No Place for a Lady. What I got was not one but two romances both as good as before.
However, I felt that because of double the romance in the same page count, the romances did suffer a bit. The revelation of love came all of a sudden and was a shock to the reader. Also up to the declarations of love there is little to no interaction between the courting couples let alone the couples that want to be together. However, once the revelations are made, the story kicks into a nice little romance that i would’ve loved to have seen throughout the book. The romances would’ve definitely been better if the author was allowed even thirty pages more.
The storyline, due to the high amount of content needed to shove into such a small amount of space, seemed kind of rushed and disjointed at times. The begin inning started at a nice reasonable pace and then around the middle, the book was kicked into hyperdrive in what felt like a rush to get the book where the author wanted it. Though the idea was fantastic, I felt like it’s a hard idea to execute and though the author tried she didn’t fully succeed with this one.
The characters, though, we’re well developed, but you didn’t really get to see who they really were due to the amount of main characters. Though I feel like this story would’ve been greatly improved with more pages, I feel like the characters were lovable and made you wish for the success of each couple despite the betrayal that takes place for it to happen. The characters in this book were a huge success and I give the author huge credit for using a condition that has affected everyone in my family and, to a lesser extent , me. Adding the ADD factor gave Jess’s character an amusing yet realistic aspect.
This author’s books are well written and she made me a fan of her with her first book, No Place for a Lady. Though I don’t feel like this book properly portrays her writing skills, I do still plan on reading the next book in the series and I still recommend this book for fans of the author. For those of you who haven’t read anything by this author previously, I encourage you to look at her Heart of the West series. I feel it represents her skill much better.
Overall, not unenjoyable, but it would’ve been better if the word count was greater. This book is perfect for those of you who want to read an innocent romance with two couples. I give this book a three out of five.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*